By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.
It seems incumbent Grays Harbor County, Washington Commission Candidate Frank Gordon has some ‘splainin’ to do.
His election opponent, Randy Ross, noticed that his campaign signs began disappearing at an intersection near the residence of, no pun intended, “Commissioner Gordon”. The defaced signs were reposted, but soon were pulled out and thrown into a weeded area. Unfortunately for the commissioner, a wildlife camera recorded a big surprise for the county.
Candidate Randy Ross asked his friend Andy Mesojednik to help investigate the removal of the signs. Andy set a wildlife camera to hopefully provide some answers as to the missing signs.
When Candidate Ross returned to the site of the political signs at the same bat time, and the same bat location, the sign disappeared. After removing the camera’s memory card and playing the recordings Ross had a “jaw dropping” experience.
Photos reportedly show Commissioner Gordon himself removing the campaign signs of his opponent.
KIRO News reported that Commissioner Gordon admitted it was him in the photographs, but claimed he wasn’t removing his opponent’s signs, he was trying to help after finding them tossed aside.
“We have hundreds of signs in the harbor,” Gordon said. “So I don’t know what I would gain by pulling some signs down here.”
“I did pick up a couple of Randy’s signs and put them with some other signs that are laying down by Duffy’s,” Gordon said, gesturing to a spot down the street.
Ross does not accept the commissioner’s explanation of the camera’s images,
“I’m just really disappointed. I thought we were working on the issues in the campaign. This is just grade school 101.”
Commissioner Gordon’s alleged actions could result in a misdemeanor citation.
State Law, RCW 29A.84.040 is quite clear with regard to such incidents:
Political advertising, removing or defacing.
A person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable to the same extent as a misdemeanor that is punishable under RCW 9A.20.021. The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation.
So much for free speech Commissioner Gordon. Be sure not to apply for the election commission after your tenure with the county.
By Darren Smith
KIRO News (plus photo credits)
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